Mario Goodrich’s future is trending toward the defensive side of the ball. His present, however, firmly puts him on both sides of the line of scrimmage.
And that’s OK by him.
“It doesn’t really matter to me,” Goodrich said. “Wherever they feel like putting me so we can win – whatever they do, I’m fine with it.”
Goodrich enters his senior season at Lee’s Summit West as a two-way star – a standout both at cornerback and wide receiver. One of the top prospects in the state of Missouri, he made a verbal commitment last May to Nebraska, which is eyeing him as a defensive back.
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Being a purely defensive player, though, is going to have to wait, at least one more fall.
“He’s going to play a ton of both offense and defense,” West coach Vinny Careswell said. “He’s too dynamic of an athlete to keep off the field.”
Goodrich is too valuable to the Titans offense, where the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder will be one of the main targets for quarterback Ben Kobel. Last year Goodrich made 15 catches for 282 yards and six touchdowns. He also rushed for 181 yards and two more TDs.
But the Titans also need Goodrich to be the mainstay in the defensive secondary, where last season he had seven interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns, and made 46 tackles, 7 ½ of them for a loss.
Wherever he plays, Goodrich expects to be part of another successful Titans squad, one that could be as good or better than last year’s 9-3 Class 6 state quarterfinalists.
“I think we’re going to do good this year,” Goodrich said. “We’ve got some more pieces that we added, our defense is going to be strong; our offense is going to be strong. We just have to come out and showcase our talent and play to our abilities this year.”
That should be easier for Goodrich now that he’s finished with the recruiting process. After getting offers from numerous schools including Missouri, Kansas State, Michigan and Oklahoma, Goodrich settled on Nebraska. He said he didn’t plan on making a choice before his senior year, it just worked out that way.
“I really like the coaches, the coaching staff,” Goodrich said. “They’re tremendous, I talk to them every day. I just liked everything about it.
“It just happened right after school somehow. I’m glad I got it out of the way so I can just come out have fun play with my teammates and try to get a state ring this year.”
Careswell said he was also happy to see Goodrich decide when he did. As an assistant coach, he remembered watching Evan Boehm, who now plays center for the Phoenix Cardinals, dealing with all the calls and coaches during the season before settling on Missouri.
“It’s nice to get that out of the way and then they can focus on Titan football and make their senior year special,” Careswell said. “Mario is a competitor and he got that out of the way and now he’s ready to compete in his final year as a Titan.”
Goodrich is ready to get that final season going, wherever the Titans will have him play.
“My main concern is just making my teammates better and coming out and having fun my senior year,” Goodrich said.